Morgan Bird wins two of 17 Canadian swimming medals on Day 2 of Parapan Am Games

By on August 10, 2015

Morgan Bird (Photo from the CDN Paralympic Team's official Twitter account)
Morgan Bird (Photo from the CDN Paralympic Team’s official Twitter account)

TORONTO – The medals continue to pour in from Canada’s swimmers at the Parapan American Games.

The Canadians won 17 medals at the pool Sunday and are now second in both the gold and overall medal count after Day 2 of competition. Canada has eight gold and 33 total medals to trail only Brazil, which has 16 gold and 34 overall.

Calgary’s Morgan Bird won gold medals in the S8 400-metre freestyle and 50 freestyle while Nicolas Turbide of Quebec City led a Canadian sweep in the S12-S13 100 backstroke. Montreal’s Devin Gotell was second while Tyler Mrak of Aldergrove, B.C., was third.

“I did not see that coming,” said Bird, 21, who has cerebral palsy. “It’s been a busy night for me. I followed both race plans well I think. I’m really happy with the results.”

Zack McAllister, from Lethbridge, Alta., won the S8 50 freestyle with Chris Sergeant-Tsonos of Kingston, Ont., coming third.

James Leroux, of Repentigny, Que., led another Canadian sweep in the S9 100 breaststroke. Montreal’s Issac Bouckley took silver while Alec Elliot, of Kitchener, Ont., claimed bronze.

McAllister and Zach Zona, of Waterford, Ont., had already made a podium appearance during the morning session, finishing second and third in the S8 400 freestyle.

Sabrina Duchesne, of Quebec City, won bronze in the S8 400 freestyle while Montreal’s Sarah Girard was third in the SB9 100 breaststroke, just behind Rivard. Katarina Roxon of Kippens, N.L., won silver in the S9 400 freestyle and the Canadian 4×50 20-point mixed relay team of Tammy Cunnington, of Red Deer, Alta., Daniel Murphy, of Bedford, N.S., Adam Purdy of London, Ont., and Valerie Drapeau, of Longueuil, Que., finished third.

Janet McLachlan scored 13 points to lead Canada to an 80-39 victory against Mexico in women’s wheelchair basketball. The win improved their record to 2-0 and a spot in the semifinals alongside Brazil. With three Paralympic berths available and Brazil gaining an automatic berth as the host nation, all four teams advancing to the semis reach next summer’s Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Samuel Charron of Ottawa scored the winning goal with six minutes remaining in the match to lead Canada to a thrilling 2-1 victory over the United States in Football 7 action.

Canada is in third place with a 1-1 record. Argentina, which defeated Venezuela 4-0 to improve to 2-0, is first.

Karen Van Nest of Wiarton, Ont., qualified for the gold-medal final tomorrow in the women’s open compound division of para-archery. Defending 2011 Parapan Am Games champion Kevin Evans of Jaffray, B.C., will aim for a bronze medal in the men’s compound open after a semifinal loss to Andre Shelby of the U.S.

Team Canada flag bearer and world No. 1 Boccia player Marco Dispaltro of St-Jerome, Que., beat Argentina’s Jose Buzzo 10-1 in his opening BC4 category match.

“I was the favourite and I played like the favourite,” said Dispaltro.

The Canadian men’s goalball team continued their winning streak at the Games with a 7-2 win over Argentina. The women’s team bounced back from their opening loss to Brazil with a dominating 10-0 win over Guatemala.

Canada’s men’s sitting volleyball team fell to Brazil 25-16, 25-15, 25-23 to even its record at 1-1. On the women’s side, the Canadians lost to the U.S., the reigning world champions, in their opening match 25-1, 25-14, 25-11.

Ian Kent of Eastern Passage, N.S., won two matches including his quarter-final game to advance to the final four in his men’s table tennis singles category. Stephanie Chan beat Paola Ranieli of Argentina 11-0, 11-2, 11-5 in women’s singles to finish the round robin first at 3-0. She will play for gold on Monday.

The Canadians used an early lead to beat Colombia 76-32 in wheelchair rugby action. Zak Madell and teammate Fabien Lavoie each scored 19 points for Canada.

Toronto’s Joel Dembe defeated Mauricio Vega of Colombia 6-3, 6-1 in his opening singles match of wheelchair tennis. Vancouver’s Yuka Chokyu needed over two hours to eliminate Rejane Candida of Brazil 6-7, 6-2, 6-1. Fellow Vancouver native Mika Ishikawa had a tough match but topped Mexico’s Rosalba Vazquez 6-3, 7-6.